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Name: Pheobe
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001

What is the hardness of nail polishes? What makes a nil polish harder? Can you explain the different ingredients involved in making a nail polish?

Nail polish consists pigments (for coloring), solvents usually more than one so that the polish is fluid when applied and dries at a controlled rate to balance dry-time and flow of the polish to make a smooth, high gloss finish. Typically, the solvents are alcohols (such as isopropanol), esters (such as butyl acetate) and ketones (such as methyl ethyl ketone). Then there is a polymer (such as an acrylate or methacrylate, but not exclusively). It is the polymer that governs the viscosity, hardness, and durability of the polish. The harder the polymer, the harder will be the nail polish, but there is a limit, a balance, because if the polish is too hard it will become brittle and crack off the rather flexible nail beneath.

Hope this helps. There is a lot more involved but these are the basics.

Vince Calder

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